Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum (born 31 December 1963 in Dubai) is an UAE athlete, who has won his country’s first ever Olympic medal.
Early life of Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum
Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s ruling family, had been interested in hunting since childhood, but he only took up shooting as a sport when he was 34. He was in squash, formerly the UAE national champion.
Although several states have recourse to non-native athletes to represent them at sporting events and win medals, the first Olympic champion in the United Arab Emirates was actually a native of his country. Ahmed Al-Maktoum is a member of the ruling Al-Maktoum family, and a Dubai Emir ‘distant relative.’ Along with another family member, [Saeed], he entered the 2000 shooting competitions. Saeed achieved by a UAE athlete (9th) the best Olympic result, yet Ahmed will win the first medal.
Al-Maktoum was more successful as a squash player, winning the national title from 1985 through 2000. He only started shooting in 1998, but from age four he had joined his father in falcon hunts. His best result prior to the 2004 Olympics was a 4th place in the double trap event at the 2003 World Championships. He repeated that position in the Athens Single Trap event (one shot shy of the podium). Also he was the top contender for the final of the double trap. Which only improved his advantage in winning the gold when the Olympic record was equalled.
He returned home and received a hero’s welcome, greeted by various members of the Al-Maktoum family, including the president of the UAE NOC and the crown prince. His fame also spread to India, not only because it kept Rajyavardhan Rathore out of the gold. A minor controversy arose when a) Dubai contract killer with an Olympic medal was mentioned in Indian movie Sarkar, which could only apply to Al-Maktoum. Following a personal call with the Manager, they dismissed the case.
He won the double trap event at the 2004 Summer Olympics and placed fourth in the trap event.
He won yet another gold medal in a double trap at the 2005 ISSF World Cup.
Also he competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics, but failed in a trap to reach the final.
He also began coaching young British shooter Peter Wilson. Who would win the double trap event for the 2012 London Olympics. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammad bin Hasher Al Maktoum refused to succeed on his own because of heart issues.